QUETTA: Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Shehryar Afridi said on Monday that Pakistan was utilising all resources to prevent smuggling of narcotics from the country.
He said Pakistan’s fight against the menace of drugs should be recognised by the world.
The minister was speaking at an event organised by the Anti-Narcotics Force to destroy drugs seized during raids in different areas of Balochistan.
Lamenting the poor response of the international community to Pakistan’s efforts against the smuggling of drugs, he said the world should recognise the country’s initiatives to eliminate the menace.
“Pakistan has not been asking for any financial assistance from any country, but we need their support because without collective efforts we can’t eliminate the menace of drugs,” he added.
Mr Afridi claimed that Afghanistan produced 85 per cent of the world’s drugs, but nobody was taking action against the country. “Afghanistan is world’s largest poppy-producing country,” he said, adding that being a neighbour of Afghanistan, Pakistan should be more vigilant against the smuggling of drugs.
Mr Afridi urged the international community to demand action against drugs-producing factories in Afghanistan.
Appreciating the performance of the ANF in the fight against narcotics, he said that despite limited resources the force had foiled a number of attempts to smuggle narcotics from Pakistan.
Mr Afridi requested the chief justice of Pakistan and chief justices of high courts to award exemplary punishments to criminals involved in drugs smuggling.
He said the people arrested by ANF teams for their involvement in the smuggling of drugs were often released by courts due to lack of evidence.
The minister gave the examples of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries which have strict laws and harsh punishments for criminals involved in the smuggling of drugs.
Mr Afridi vowed to take strict action against people, including government officers, involved in drug smuggling.
“Those who have been thinking that they are untouchable due to their power, I want to warn them that time has ended because we won’t spare anyone destroying our youth with the scourge of drugs,” the minister added.
Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2019